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  1. #1
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    Bruce Swanson
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    Buying local vs not, an economics lesson

    I am not an economist, and yes, I do buy from Walmart, but I'd like to share a story I read several years ago in a letter to the editor. The author owned a hosiery mill in Greensboro. He wrote to illustrate the loss of reason by the State government when it came to economics. Why he wrote the letter was because he lost the bid to furnish socks to the state corrections department. I don't remember the amount but it was something like $.03 per pair. Here's the folly of the State's decision to buy from the lowest bidder; the lowest bidder was an importer of socks from China. Let's say the importer paid 65% of the bid total to the China manufacturer and the rest went to his company and employees. That's $.35 of every dollar went to the local economy where some of it stayed in circulation, while some of the money didn't. Hope you can begin to form a picture, but we're only beginning. State Of North Carolina, in order to bring more manufacturing and jobs to the state, helped the owner establish the new hosier mill by giving financial aids and tax concessions so the business could begin and flourish. That means that each of us NC citizens and taxpayers had a financial stake in helping this company get started, in which case would more than offset that$.03 per pair differential we talked about a few sentences earlier. But that's just peanuts compared to the bigger picture. What about that dollar if it went to the local hosiery mill? Jobs equals wages, so the employees will spend most of their pay checks locally too, and that dollars continues to spread and turn over many times in the local economy, but wait, that's nothing! What are socks made from? Cotton! Cotton grown by NC farmers. The cotton farmer receives dollars for his cotton, the gin gets dollars for processing the cotton, the harvesters, the equipment dealers, the petroleum dealers, the trucking companies, more petroleum dealers, mechanics, truck dealers, warehouse workers, knitting machine dealers, and on and on and on. That dollar, had it been spent locally, would have turned over and over in the state's economy providing many, many jobs, as that dollar expands and turns many, many times. So please consider those local businesses when making your purchases.
    Experience is a hard teacher; she gives the test first, and the lesson later.

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    Re: Buying local vs not, an economics lesson

    It's not always the case, but American textiles are (in my opinion) higher quality than Chinese textiles, and they last longer. Paying 3 more is probably cheaper.

  4. #3
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    Re: Buying local vs not, an economics lesson

    Watched a program on public tv a couple years back. It was about the travels of South Carolina cotton. First it was grown and harvested in SC. After ginning, it was shipped to China to be made into fabric, which was then sent to another Asia rim country to be made into clothes, which were then exported back to Walmart in the US of A, some of which were sold in Walmarts in South Carolina. US Army buys it beret from China, at least at one time it did. When our grandsons did a stint in Iraq, uniforms issued by Army were made in China. Quality is like buying oats. If you want nice fresh clean oats, then they will cost you. But if you don't mind if they have already been thru the horse, than they are cheaper.

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